An Open Notebook

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Journal vs. Blog; Blog vs. Journal.

Journal – a daily record of happenings. Blog – the word’s not even in my old dictionary.

~~I’ve been writing in journals ever since I was a teenager, but I don’t think I ever wrote it as a daily record of the happenings in my life. I kept a record of my writing life, but not daily. I would write when I was feeling down to try to cheer myself up. I would write when something exciting happened so that I could go back later and read the entry and know exactly when I wrote “the end” or started a new book. And best I would record when I got one of those letters that said somebody wanted to publish my book. Of course on the down days I also noted some of the letters that came saying somebody didn’t want to publish my book. Actually in my journals there are probably more down entries than up entries, but they are always balanced by the fact that even when my writing life wasn’t going well, I knew how blessed I was to have my family and farm and to be able to keep writing in hopes that the next story would be better and would find a loving editor and readers.

~~And then after I did sell a book in this internet era, people said you need to blog. So I said, why not? It would be like journaling with the notebook left open for any interested eyes to see my words. I could do that. They said there were blogging dos and don’ts. I just read a blog (what else?) giving ten blogging don’ts this week. I probably did at least half of them. Maybe that’s why I can’t brag about a thousand hits a week or more the way that blogger can. He said a blog should be short. Okay, I agree, but I’m not good at short. Maybe I can learn that one. He said a blog shouldn’t be about yourself. Totally mess up on that one. Said you should blog on a regular basis. Do that. I’m consistent if nothing else and I determined when I started blogging to do two entries a week. Unless I’m out of town or sick (well, maybe sick doesn’t count since I’ve caught a cold and feel rotten tonight, but you can’t catch it over the net, thank goodness) or have a snowstorm that gets me so out of schedule I forget what day it is, I do try to get something written Wednesdays and Sundays.

~~But then the rule that really got me was the “brand” bit. That a blog should have a brand, a consistent theme. At that point, I gave up. I don’t want to do a brand blog, so I’ll just journal along and appreciate you sweet readers who want to take a peek at my open notebook. But I’ll work on the less wordy.

~~What do you think? What do you want to read in the blogs you follow? What makes you follow this or that blog?